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The risks of asbestos exposure should concern commercial property owners, employers, and employees. Asbestos exposure is a hazard that has a long history and has profound health implications. That is why you should ensure you do not have asbestos in your workplace.

If you do, you should know what to expect from commercial asbestos removal in Melbourne. This post will describe asbestos and give examples of asbestos-containing products. You can also learn about workplace health and safety and asbestos management, removal, and disposal.

Likewise, the post considers the requirements to remove asbestos yourself or use licensed asbestos removalists. Finally, you can read up on the removal of asbestos and what to expect from good commercial asbestos removalists in Melbourne.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a mineral naturally occurring in nature consisting of tiny, durable fibres. These fibres have high resistance to heat, fire, and water. It was commonly used as a building material and in building construction as far back as the 1950s. In fact, if your residential or commercial property was built prior to 1990, it may contain asbestos. Currently, the use of asbestos is banned.

Asbestos-containing products

Examples of asbestos-containing products include the following:

  • Brake pads in vehicles
  • Fibre cement sheeting
  • Vinyl flooring (vinyl floor tiles)
  • Soundproofing
  • Decoration
  • Pipe insulation
  • Electrical parts 
  • Steam pipes
  • Roofing
  • Boilers
  • Furnace ducts

Asbestos and Workplace Health and Safety

You can be at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases if you come in contact with asbestos-containing materials. You may breathe in asbestos dust, and the inhaled fibres can become trapped in your lungs. This means that even a small quantity of asbestos can pose a health risk.

Examples of severe health conditions that can result from exposure include the following:

  • Lung cancer
  • Scarring of lung tissues
  • Lung inflammation 
  • Mesothelioma (which is a rare form of cancer)
  • Asbestosis
  • Lung conditions
  • Damage to the linings of the lungs

Workplace asbestos management, removal, and disposal

If you work on a commercial property where there is a risk of occupational asbestos exposure, you need to be aware and protect yourself. There are obligations on the part of the employer and the employee that guide workplace asbestos management, removal, and disposal.

Who guides occupational asbestos removal?

Some agencies provide information and resources on asbestos management, awareness, and exposure. These agencies include the following:

Requirements to Remove Asbestos Yourself

You must follow state and territory guidelines to remove asbestos yourself. For instance, you are allowed to use your vehicle for the transport of domestic asbestos. In this case, you do not need a vehicle permit or waste transport certificate. However, you compulsorily have to package asbestos in the prescribed way. In addition, you must transport and dispose of asbestos in a licensed landfill.

Using Licensed Asbestos Removalists

Asbestos management, removal, and disposal must be done safely and appropriately. This is because asbestos poses a dangerous risk to human health if improperly managed.

Ideally, it would be best to use a licensed asbestos removalist to handle asbestos removal and disposal. Such licensed asbestos removalists must meet the following requirements:

  • Own a waste transport certificate.
  • Possess a waste transport permit for vehicles being used.
  • Dispose of asbestos in a licensed landfill.

Asbestos Removalist Licence Types

There are two types or classes of licensed asbestos removalists. These classes are Class A and Class B.

  • Class A licence for friable asbestos removal.
  • Class B licence for non-friable asbestos removal.

Requirements to Use Licensed Landfills

You must use a licensed landfill whether you wish to remove the asbestos yourself or use a licensed asbestos removalist. You can search for the nearest landfill that accepts asbestos. Landfills can accept domestic or commercial asbestos or both.

Disposal of Asbestos in Commercial Buildings

Asbestos is supposed to be disposed of safely. Moreover, the law requires all commercial buildings to maintain a register of asbestos-containing materials in the building. In addition, there must be regular audits/inspections.

Anytime it is discovered that a building contains asbestos that is damaged or worn, remedial action must immediately be taken. This is because such exposed asbestos exposes people to toxic asbestos fibres. The types of corrective action that may be taken include sealing off the affected area or removing the asbestos-containing material.

Why Use Commercial Asbestos Removalists

  • You can rely on them for excellent commercial asbestos removal.
  • Commercial asbestos removalists have the equipment for asbestos testing on all forms of asbestos materials.
  • They can handle all the asbestos identification, removal, and disposal processes.
  • They may offer asbestos waste removal, containment, and disposal services.
  • You can simply call on them for emergency asbestos removal.

Characteristics of good commercial asbestos removalists

It makes sense to go for the best and choose a company that is an industry leader in commercial asbestos removal.

  • Fully licensed to manage the removal and disposal of asbestos products, including friable asbestos and non-friable asbestos (bonded asbestos materials).
  • Procuring all relevant clearance certificates and notifying the local or state government of asbestos disposal. They should also handle the processes relating to issuing asbestos clearance reports.
  • Abiding to all approved codes of practice. For example, using safe-work procedures for asbestos-related removal. This includes wearing personal protective equipment.
  • A high-standard asbestos removal process that includes air monitoring and ensuring no asbestos contamination is involved in asbestos management activities.
  • Capable of removing asbestos in large commercial properties, including power stations and refineries.

Hire a Commercial Asbestos Removalist

This article has discussed what asbestos is and listed asbestos-containing products. You have also read up on requirements to remove asbestos yourself or use a licensed removalist. As such, you know it is preferable to go for a commercial asbestos removal company in Melbourne for any asbestos removal.

Professional and reliable asbestos removal companies take pride in using modern technology in a wide range of asbestos removal projects. This includes performing asbestos inspections and site decontamination. This way, you can ensure the entire asbestos management process is safe and efficient.